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Services & Policies

Location & Hours

Special Collections & Archives is located on the third floor of Hawthorne-Longfellow Library (1 College Street). A parking lot designated for visitors is available across from the Library; alternatively, you may park in any space or lot on campus regardless of permit designations (except for handicap and service vehicle spaces).

The Department is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m, Monday through Friday, and Thursdays (October 13-December 15, 2016) 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., major holidays excepted.

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Polly Greason Reading Room
©2001 Brian Vanden Brink


Kat Stefko
Caroline Moseley
Marieke Van Der Steenhoven
Special Collections Education and Outreach Librarian
Sophie Mendoza
Archives Assistant
Meagan Doyle
O.O.Howard Digitization Project Supervisor

Rules for Readers

Because Special Collections & Archives materials are rare, fragile, unique, or of special collecting interest, they may be consulted only in the department Reading Room under departmental supervision, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. The staff is available for consultation on research topics.

  • All readers who can furnish a photographic form of identification (e.g., student ID, driver's license) and who agree to abide by these rules may use the collections; grade school students must be accompanied by a supervising adult.
  • No personal belongings, including backpacks, purses, book bags, coats, and notebooks, are permitted in the Reading Room. Readers may bring laptop computers into the Reading Room, but computer travel bags/cases are not permitted. Please place these belongings in the storage area provided for them.
  • The use of ink is not permitted. Nor may the reader make any marks on any departmental materials. In taking notes, please do not rest notepaper directly on books or manuscripts; tracing is not permitted. The department supplies notepaper and pencils as needed.
  • All materials must be handled with care. Maintain loose papers in the order in which they are received. Please bring apparent filing irregularities to our attention, but do not attempt to rearrange manuscript collections or archival records personally. Some of our books have uncut pages; please bring these to our attention as you encounter them so that we may open them for you.
  • Limited photocopying is possible depending on the fragility of particular items and compliance with copyright law. All requests for copies are subject to departmental review. Copies are prepared by department staff following the posted schedule for copying charges. Readers are permitted to use a hand held digital camera to capture images with natural light, but the use of a watermark overlay may be required. Photocopies and digital images must be used for private study, scholarship or research only; under no circumstance may copies of materials from our collections be deposited in another repository or institution without our express written permission.
  • Any reader wishing to publish from Special Collections & Archives materials agrees to obtain permission prior to publication from the Director, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, from all holders of copyright, and from other interested parties as applicable. The reader agrees to accept full responsibility for complying with laws enacted to protect copyright and privacy rights. The department is obliged to deny access to materials that are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and other relevant privacy laws.
  • Research requests received through the mail, e-mail, or over the telephone will be handled as time, the availability of staff, and the fragility of the material allow. We regret that we cannot perform detailed research; a list of researchers-for-hire is available on request.

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Copyright Information

  • The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.
  • Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If the user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.
  • This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

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Duplication Policy

  • All duplicating of Special Collections & Archives materials is done by Library staff. Materials may be copied (photomechanically, magnetically or digitally) when, in the judgment of the staff, such copying will not damage the original item(s), will not duplicate an inordinate portion of a manuscript collection, archival record group or bound volume, and is not prohibited by US copyright law. While the Library makes every attempt to accommodate copying requests, making copies is inherently stressful to the original(s). Consequently, limits have been established to balance researchers' needs and our obligation to preserve these special resource materials. To reduce stress on bindings, all photocopying of bound volumes is limited to no more than twenty (20) pages per volume. Some items, such as brittle, tightly bound or heavy books, are impossible to photocopy. Sometimes, alternative photoduplication (e.g., microfilming, photography) are suitable when electrostatic copying is infeasible. We regret that we can provide no more than 500 electrostatic copies within a 12 month period for any individual. Readers wanting to copy a substantial portion of a manuscript collection, a group of College records, or a published work may be asked to pay instead for the production of a microfilm or digitized copy of the entire portion.
  • Special conditions apply when requesting duplication of unpublished materials. Almost all unpublished manuscripts, recordings, and photographs created since the early twentieth century are protected under copyright law. Select photocopies of manuscripts may be made if they are solely for the research use of the applicant; further photoduplication of such copies is not permitted, nor may those copies be deposited in another institution. Nor does Bowdoin College Library, in making research copies available, thereby grant permission to reproduce those copies or to quote extensively from them for publication. In making use of these copies, the applicant assumes full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or publication rights belonging to the author, the author's heirs or assigns. The applicant also accepts responsibility for communicating with the holder(s) of copyright concerning permissions to quote or otherwise publish material protected by copyright from our collections. Special copyright provisions apply to sound recordings, pictorial, musical, graphic, motion picture, or other audio-visual works that severely restrict duplicating without the express permission of the holder of copyright.
  • Publishing material from our holdings requires permission not only from the holders of copyright but also from Bowdoin College Library. For permission to publish, please write to the Director, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Stations, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421. A publication fee may apply.
  • The department fills orders as quickly as possible. Requests from resident researchers take precedence; research requests received through the mail, by phone or electronically will be handled as time, the availability of staff, and the fragility of the material allows. In all instances, a signed Request for Duplication is prerequisite to filling any duplication order.
  • The applicant agrees to pay the costs incurred in making all requested copies following established fee schedules, including expenses in preparing negatives and file copies retained by the department. Orders that require photographic, magnetic or digital copying, and mail orders require prepayment (in U.S. funds drawn on an American bank). We regret that we cannot provide billing for non-Bowdoin College accounts.

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Duplication Fee Schedule

  • Please consult the Special Collections & Archives Duplication Policy for rules governing the request and production of duplicates from our collections. Copies are generally made for the private research use of the applicant, and copying orders that violate "fair use" or related provisions of copyright law cannot be filled.
  • Additional fees may apply for publication and other uses of these reproductions beyond personal research; please contact the Director of Special Collections for further information.
  • All mail orders require prepayment and are subject to a $5.00 handling/mailing fee.

In-house requests:
$ .10 per exposure (an additional $ .15 per exposure surcharge applies to all copies beyond 100 per order).
Mail orders:
$ .25 per exposure ($2.50 minimum; 100 exposure maximum per order) (an additional handling/mailing fee of $5.00 also applies).

Digital images (for images requiring scanning):
$5 per image for Bowdoin College affiliates.
$15 per image for non-Bowdoin researchers.

Digital images (for previously scanned images on file):
No charge for Bowdoin College affiliates.
$5 per image for non-Bowdoin researchers.

Audiocassettes and compact discs:
$5.00 per cassette or disc for Bowdoin College affiliates.
$15.00 per cassette or disc for non-Bowdoin researchers.

Videocassettes (VHS) and DVDs:
$5.00 per cassette or disc for Bowdoin College affiliates.
$15.00 per cassette or disc for non-Bowdoin researchers.

Phonograph albums:
$25 per album (reformatted on disc).
For digital conversion of other analog sound recordings, please inquire.

Camera work: please inquire.

Duplication Request Form

  • To request duplicated materials, please complete the Duplication Request Form and mail it, including payment (a check or money order payable to “Bowdoin College”) to: George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421. Because we require prepayment for all duplication requests, we are always happy to calculate costs prior to your making your formal request.

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Publication Permissions & Fees

  • Would you like to include materials from Special Collection in a publication (book, journal article, newspaper, etc.), a film or broadcast, a website, an exhibition, performance, or presentation? If so, you will need to obtain permission not only from the holders of copyright but also from Bowdoin College Library. For permission to publish, please write to the Director, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421, indicating the materials you wish to reproduce together with the title, publisher, as well as the anticipated date of publication and print run (or comparable non-print distribution plans) of the proposed work.
  • Requests for permission to publish are considered on a case-by-case basis. Brief quotations are typically permitted freely. Extensive publication, the use of images or facsimiles, and reprint projects are subject to the fee schedule posted below or are negotiable. Unless stipulated otherwise, publication permission is for one-time nonexclusive use, is contingent upon receipt of applicable fees, and requires appropriate citation for the material published.
  • When copyright is held outside Bowdoin College, our permission to publish does not extend to copyright. Special Collections & Archives will provide information about copyright holders whenever possible; however, the applicant accepts all responsibility for obtaining the required permission from copyright holders in order to publish materials protected by copyright law.
  • Publication fees do not include the cost of image duplication; please see our Duplication Fee Schedule for costs associated with preparing copies from our holdings.
  • For-profit publications, and works distributed in more than 3,000 copies:
    Publication of one image: $ 100.00
  • Not-for-profit publications printed in fewer than 3,000 copies:
    Publication of one image: $ 50.00

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George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives · Staff · Hours
Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421 · scaref@bowdoin.edu · (207) 725-3288